On a rainy July night, I set off to see Bob Dylan at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. It had been almost a year since I last saw Bob in the luxurious confines of the MGM Theatre at Foxwoods (see my post from August 16), so I was ready for my summer fix of Bob.
In the past, I had been reluctant to go to a show on the ball park tours. I'm not much for general admission gigs. You are either sitting thousands of yards away from the stage and you have to ask your neighbor: "Which one's Bob?" or you are enduring the mosh pit up front. Not my idea of a fun night.
Fortunately, I had Guitar Johnny as my wing man tonight. With him as my backstage ambassador, I had visions of meeting Bob and completing my rock and roll fantasy life. After a very pleasant dinner in the backstage area and a nice visit with a couple of the band members, "Guitar" and I were unsure about our plan. We went up to the back of stage to hear a bit of Johnny Cougar (or whatever he is called these days) and it didn't look like there would be much room there for us when Bob's part of the show began.
The weather was getting worse and I have to confess we were thinking about hitting the road. When we realized that Bob was not coming out of his bus for a stroll around back stage and a personal meet and greet with yours truly, we were really losing interest. Fortunately, we decided to make one more foray through the backstage area. We were hanging around just seeing if we could catch a glimpse Bob before he took the stage.
We did see a few people going up some stairs on the right side of the stage, but didn't think that was in our reach. Suddenly, a security guy was on us and instead of telling us to beat it, he told us go right up those stairs and find a place behind the soundboard. In an instant, we were flying first class.
Up we went and we found ourselves about 25 feet off Bob's side of the stage. After about 5 minutes there was a little commotion to our left and there was Bob with a black suit and white Rolling Thunder style hat standing about 6 feet away.
Bob and the band hit the stage and started into a rocking version of Cat's In The Well with Bob on lead guitar. Next they launched into It Ain't Me, Babe, which was followed by I'll Be Your Baby Tonight. Bob was playing his guitar for all he was worth. We could see Denny looking over at him with a perplexed look trying to follow his lead as they soloed together. Afterwards, Johnny said he thought he was listening to the Allman Brothers with the twin lead guitar sound. Pretty great stuff and Bob had the old chicken scratch working just fine. It made me remember his solos in the old days on Tangled Up In Blue. Chicken Scratch!